When the Floods come.

 

The south-east corner of southern Africa, Mocambique, parts of Malawi and Zimbabwe  have been severely beaten by the worst floods ever remembered in these regions.
This year, the rainy season brought with it devastating floods.   Cyclone Idai came destroyed and dissipated.
The city of Beira in Mocambique was hit hard with about 90% of the city wiped out !    It is almost unthinkable the devastation caused by this cyclone.

Many people have lost their lives and it has been said that about 3 thousand have been displaced, and have absolutely nothing to their name.
Some were caught unawares and ended up in the branches of trees as the muddy flood waters swirled around them.  Some had to wait five days for help to arrive.   Large areas were inaccessible for the water covered the earth.

 

Flood Mocambique.jpg

These were the snippets of news that came in sparsely as we waited for more information on the aftermath of this catastrophic cyclone.   Even still the whole picture is not yet seen, and only the news agents who are able to air scout the region have a better understanding of the vastness of the real situation.
Apart from an immediate muddy future, there are the diseases of cholera and malaria that accompany flood disasters that have to be contended with, the sick needing immediate and urgent attention.   This apart from ongoing food and fresh water supplies needed for the people to survive this calamity.

It has been a hard and devastating blow for the people of Mocambique, and my heart goes out to them.  I decided to make a small contribution toward some form of relief, but  waited for the right connection.   That was when I received an appeal letter from MAF – Mission Aviation Fellowship, who do Christian aviation relief work, internationally and  particularly so in Africa.

Maf plane

MAF are making a small difference and according to their letter work alongside Mercy Air, who rescue people, deliver cargo and put in many hours of flight time to bring relief to the crisis situation.    Here is a brief paragraph from their newsletter :

“We have been conducting survey flights and working with Mercy Air to deliver, food, tents, hygiene kits, family kits and other items from Chimoio to Beira for use at the Internally Displaced People (IDP)  Camp for those stranded by flooding.   There are still people stranded on roof, turfs of land and trees.   Please continue to pray for the many people displaced by this crisis, especially those that may still be stranded somewhere.   ….”

Should you want to know more of the work of MAF you can read at  www.mafsa.co.za

I responded to their call for donations, but felt it was such a miniscule pinhead gesture in a flooding of overwhelming problems and needs.  The feeling of inadequacy and futility surfaced, and I was glum.

However giving it some thought,  and after reading MAF’s  appeal letter and having seen other TV reports,  I realised that the very swift response from the South African Defence Force,  World health organisations, aid and medical agencies responding to this disaster, – there was also a flood of goodness flowing to Mocambique,  not in murky waters, but in the crystal clear water of goodness and mercy, care and love, in the practical form of very needed rescue and relief supplies.

The South African government has pledged a sixty million rand donation, as well as other wealthy businesses and foundations giving funds toward this crisis.   May this open the stream of funding that can help rebuild this nation.
But not only in monitory terms, but in necessary supplies of food,  water, hygiene items, and my heart’s desire, school necessities like pens, pencils, crayons, books, Bibles and vegetable seeds for the growing of food for an ongoing food supply.

May God bless Africa, the ongoing rescue and relief work, especially Mocambique, its people and its regional neighbours Zimbabwe and Malawi – at such a time as this.
Please pray continually,  for after the aftermath of the devastation the help and aid agencies will leave and a great work of  rebuilding and normality will have to be hewn out of the muddy mess.

My heart took wings, and I realised there is still so much good and goodness in our world today – despite the horrors that get the limelight in the news coverage.
Even the in ugly face of calamity there is some good, and I reckon we should always look for the good in every situation of life  –  for it is there, and often in life-changing abundance too !

May goodness rule in the calamities of life, but when the floods come, keep in mind these words from

Isaiah 59:19

When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him

 

seed shoots

 

Parallel Dreams

 

Unused fields could yield plenty of food for the poor, but unjust men keep them from being farmed.  –  Proverbs 13:23

It never ceases to amaze me how God connects people together.

I met Isabel, well in fact I haven’t actually met Isabel, we have just spoken over the phone. Isabel and I have a  mutual connection through a friend who has similar interests in faraway places,  particularly  in Africa, specifically in Zimbabwe.  Isabel comes from  Zimbabwe but now lives in Benoni, South Africa.

When we spoke Isabel told me of her dream to establish a care centre in Zimbabwe.  She has a compassionate heart for the Grannies who look after the Aids orphans in her district.
And she has land that can be used for this dream.

She is connected to a stream of transporters who taxi goods to and from Zimbabwe – as Zimbabwe is a land in dire crisis.   I managed to parcel a few things up for her in her plight to help the people in distress there.   I apologised for the feeble futility of my donation and got a polite scolding as she said that nothing nothing is to small to send to Zimbabwe.  There is so much hunger and poverty and hardship there.  The people are suffering under a tyrannical ruler, and the crippling drought has aggravated the living conditions to Unbearable status !!

I told her of my dream for a Care Africa movement that could help Africa feed itself through Care Gardens.   I had included some veggie seeds in the parcel I had sent to her.
On her return from one of the visits she sent me these photos of the gardens her brother and his wife grow in Zim.    He has given the seeds to one or two families to encourage them to grow food – even if only in car tyres to start with, as water is scarce.   I suggested : “even have a little competition with the reward of a food care bag for those willing to start their own food gardens ?”     She will find out from her brother if this is a good idea.

Perhaps our dreams will roll out separately – yet together ?   Parallel dreams if you will ?  Isabel is one of those people who unwittingly makes a big difference to many lives, in this instance even to a country,  needing the attention of those who care for people in need. I stand amazed at the difference one person can make !
May all our dreams come true.

Green Africa map

Plant a garden in your yard
Plant a garden in your heart.

Care Africa

Green Africa map

Life is made up of small things.
Everything you do matters.

Africa is a big continent.  It is a block of land that captures you.  Whether you are in the north or in the south of it it will lay claim to a corner of your heart.   I have heard of South Africans who leave Africa for more appealing shores, but often, very often have the yearning to come home again.   Its challenges, its diversities and its humanities, is like a magnet that draws all kinds of human emotions from the heart that has at its roots the most scary and at the same time the most amazing appeal.   Or perhaps, for me, its just home.
Famous words of Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa : “I am an African”
brings with it many connotations, because Africa has many connotations – anybody can be anybody in Africa.  Its diversity creates space for this, yet it also creates fragmentation, for diversity does not necessarily mean unity.   The trick is to bring diversity into a patchwork for unity.   I am not an African.  But I am a South African.  A white South African, does that make me an African ?

Nevertheless, Africa is a place for expression.  Africa will find you out !  There is room for everyone, for every kind under the sun in Africa – the good, the very good, the bad and the very bad, the place where humanity is at war with itself, and mirrors that for the world to see and to watch.

Love it or hate it Africa is the place that calls for attention.  And at the same time offers opportunity to express that humanity one way or another.

Many years ago now, I came across MAF and signed up for their newsletter.  What is MAF ?
An extract from their 2015 Annual  Report sums it up consicely .
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is an international Christian organisation bringing help and hope to some of the poorest and most remote communities in the world….
We work with hundred of missions, churches, local groups, relief & development organisations and national government agencies.   Together we deliver practical medical and spiritual care in places with the deepest human needs ” – Prof. Polla Roux.

Furthermore to this is a very brief snippet of its history, supplied by the MAF office in South Africa:
In 1945 Murray Kendon, a New Zealander flying with the RAF Coastal Command during World War 2, wondered if the power and versatility of aircraft would only be used for conflict and carnage.   After realizing this dream was indeed God-given, he accepted the challenge and Mission Aviation Fellowship was born.
In 1970 David and Beryl Luke developed the MAF SA programme in the Transkei and it then moved to Johannesburg in the late ’70s.   In 2011 MAF saw the need to develop a programme in South Africa and the Flying for Life project was developed.
We currently work in the Vhembe District in Limpopo, taking in missionaries, churches, medical professionals and other organisations to help sustainably uplift the community.
Looking ahead, we are wanting to expand our eye doctor clinic to an additional hospital,
and extend into other provinces in South Africa. “

 

Care Africa Purple Bags
The Care Africa project is a small random project that encourages people to “grow a garden in your yard,  grow a garden in your heart”,  and encourages growing vegetables for food, and reading the Bible for growing the soul.   Both very necessary for human growth and sustainability – social development in an wholistic sense.
Recently I met up with Maxine Holman from MAFSA, and could give her two care bags to grow the concept of Care Africa.
Big or little deeds of kindness, whether a Flying Mission or a packet of spinach seeds, can make a difference in Africa.

I reckon poverty’s first priority is to combat hunger, and the growing of vegetables whether in a car tyre, an individual yard, or a community garden, will go a long way to addressing hunger, so prevalent in Africa today.  

In today’s shaky economic climate it makes sense to save cents by growing your own vegetable garden  – and together with reading the Word of God everyday you will begin to create a healthy, survival, sustainable and a good life.

Life is made up of small things.   What you do matters.

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Grow a garden in your yard,  Grow a garden in your heart,  and so join the Care Africa project.
 Start today, and let CareSA know how your gardens grow.   Grow well, eat well, share well
Happy gardening !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Garden of Your Heart

Just to keep track of the Care Africa movement project I am continuing with the concept of Care Gardens.  The main focus of the project is to encourage people, especially in Africa, where there is so much poverty, to plant a care garden in their yards as a means to combat poverty.   By not only providing food there is much to learn from the science of nature, from the soil, the seed and the benefits of good nutrition.   For instance, to produce a good healthy crop of vegetable plants that flowers e.g. tomatoes, brinjals, strawberries etc. you may add to the soil the following : Half a cup of Ammonia mixed with 2 cups water,  300 ml beer, and 1 cup Epsom Salts.  Mix well and add 30 ml of this mixture to 5 litres of water, and use to feed fruiting plants.  This is a recipe that a Virologist gave me, I tried it and had the tastiest tomatoes ever. Go ahead try it. Get practical and Happy Gardening!

All gardens need to be cultivated, those in yards, and those in hearts.  Just as the soil needs to be nourished, so too does the soul need to be nourished.   Take a little time out and do an exercise in solitude, in nature if you can.  Quietly take note of what you feel, see, hear, touch, smell and  taste, then say thank you – say thank you for all the blessings that are just lingering there for you.  Be sure to add value to your soul by listening to uplifting music, reading good books, reading the Bible everyday will be like medicine for your soul for it is full of wisdom, strength and comfort whenever your soul needs it.  I take it everyday, I call it my “Gos pills”! My soul can’t do without them.

When tending to your soul be on the look out for poisonous plants, especially in the Garden of Despair.   Some deep seated seed grow deep roots in dark places, in fact thrive on and feed off the dark and negative thoughts.  Watch out for these.  They are toxic, dangerous and poison to the soul – and will effect those in proximity to your garden!   Call your Gardener at once.   Toxic thoughts come from bad memories, and can pop up at any time.  Recognise them, look for the roots from where they have grown so that He can pull them out – roots and all.    Then apply the good ointment of Forgiveness.  This is essential, as Forgiveness is a antiseptic, antibacterial anti viril and essential for cleaning out the wound in the soul.  Sprinkle the wound with a dusting of thanks too as this accelerates the healing.  Be constantly on the look out for other pathogens like Jealousy, this is an ugly plant,  Anger that can quickly turn to Hatred – quite potent,  Disappointment – often camouflaged in full sight, and the trailing Resentment that can entangle a choke other healthy plants in your garden.

Tend to your soul, its the essence of you.   Happy Gardening!